When it comes to the land of TikTok, you never really know what’s on the way to you next. Swipe upwards once and your FYP might switch instantaneously—from the dance tutorial everyone’s trying to learn to an entirely foolproof recipe worthy of a masterclass moment. Such is the case in the expansive beauty corner of the social media app too; everyday, you find yourself met with a new hack to try, an underrated skincare product to swiftly land your hands on or quite simply, the trending make-up look that you might want to have a go at next.
Some beauty aesthetics encourage bringing out the best of your raw, natural beauty—think the summer-inspired ‘Clean Girl’ look that’s been popularised by the season’s It girls—whilst other trends made its high-octane splash by focusing on one single make-up product: the blush. Not too long ago, the TikTok verse made a case for mixing your blush with concealer on our under eyes before blending it out to conceal our dark circles. And more recently, the ‘Duoyin blush’ trend sent waves through Asia for effectively achieving an easy, sun-kissed glow around the eyes and chin.
@firna.alisha trying the viral douyin blush trend . ib : hezzzw_jw #makeuphacks #fyp #makeuptutorial #douyin ♬ ZOOM – Jessi
The recurring trend here? Blush placements. Much of these newfangled make-up trends seem to be playing around with varying placements—in other words, choosing exactly where on our visages we’re applying that rosy touch to. From the simple apple-on-my-cheeks blush application method to the sunburn blush that’s attained cult status with Hailey Bieber’s rendition of the look courtesy of celebrity-approved MUA Nina Park, all we can fathom is that there are a ton of ways to play around with the make-up mainstay, but who’s to know if we’re really doing it right?
Whilst beauty TikTokers are all making it seem like a summer’s breeze, there seems to be a myriad of other factors that come into play when choosing a blush for the occasion. An individual’s face shape, the presence of under eye circles and of course, the actual desired outcome are just some of them. To answer the beauty-curious and ourselves, we ask after Airin, the professional make-up artist behind ARLY on how best to approach your blush look, for you to keep in mind the next time TikTok decides to lure you in on a new hack.
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How might one’s face shape affect their blush placement?
There are a myriad types of face shapes: oblong, square, round or heart-shaped, just to name some of them. The varying face shapes affect the perceived ratio of our facial features to one another, including one’s cheekbones, jawline and even hairline. For Airin, analysing her client’s facial features will help her to decide her next step, since she’ll be looking to “enhance their features, rather than to conceal it”.
Square and heart-shaped faces have a stronger and sharper jawline, and the aim would be to soften the angular lines of the face. This can be done via “adding definition by focusing first on the apple of your cheeks and swiping it in a smiling, curved shape towards the temples”. For those with oblong or oval faces, the trick is to “add some blush on the cheeks and swipe in an outward motion towards he ears” in order to enact a natural lift. For round-shaped faces? You’ll want to “brush the blush below your cheekbones to create some definition”—giving the illusion of a soft glow that radiates from within.
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How should we apply our blush in a way that it enhances one’s natural features?
Apart from face shapes, how do we unlock our natural rosy glow à la Hailey Bieber? “The right tone is key to a good blush,” Airin shares. Choose the blush with the same undertone as your own skin i.e if you’ve got a warm yellow undertone, opt for a warmer blush shade. “For a natural look, I’ll also make sure to place the blush within the area that is just beyond the nose. Another key point is to make sure to not swipe too high when doing upward strokes on the cheekbones,”.
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A make-up look is not complete without an accompanying lip and eye look. Any tips for how to complement a strong blush moment?
Emily Ratajkowski was in full favour of her blush being the main focus when she attended the Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2022 show this year, and Patrick Ta knew exactly how to deliver it to full effect. On this, Airin comments that indeed “less is more”. “To keep it light and fresh, I tend to reduce focus on the other two features (eyes and lips) so that it doesn’t look too trying. When there is too much product on the face, it removes the focus from your natural features, hence making one look overtly made up,”.
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Are there any types of blush placement one should avoid if they have under eye dark circles?
Blending your blush into your concealer might have only recently been a trend in TikTok verse, but it’s safe to say that Kylie Jenner has long been a proponent of the under-eye blush look. Airin actually advises opting for this look over the sunburn blush for those with dark under-eyes, citing that it not only looks cleaner, but it actually helps to ‘create an illusion that masks the dark eye circles”.
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How does a liquid or powder blush affect its application process?
Airin is a strong proponent for the liquid blusher. According to her: “It’s easier to blend out, which helps in controlling its exact placement. On the other hand, the powder blush can sometimes end up being patchy if it’s not applied correctly,”.
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Pro-tips for those looking for a foolproof blush look?
Just the right amount of blush does wonders when it comes to achieving a simple, dewy flush for your mien. From Airin’s experience, “the apples-on-your-cheeks trick won’t go wrong when it comes to creating a natural make-up look, but many make the mistake of swiping it below their cheekbones for a contour look. But when this isn’t done properly, your cheeks may end up looking saggy,”.
In order to maximise your face shape, her simple advice is to “smile and apply a liquid blusher to the apples of your cheeks for an effortlessly lifted look, before adding a second layer of powder blush to enhance it.”